Recruiting Message Template 

Many researchers ask us what their recruitment message should say to participants. Unless you have special instructions, or your IRB insists upon certain language, you do not need to write a recruitment message, because we use a message similar to the one that appears below.

If you do have a need to customize the message below, keep in mind that the email message comes from the StudyResponse project and not from you personally. The recruiting message is therefore not the place to seek consent from participants, because it is your responsibility to obtain (and keep records of) consent for your study. We recommend that procedures for obtaining consent be included in the first page of your online research instrument. Also keep in mind that we send pure text messages only: no HTML, no formatting, and no attachments.

Syracuse University's IRB requires that your contact information including a working email address and phone number, appear in the message and that any special conditions for receiving a participant incentive are spelled out. The StudyResponse project director reserves the right to copy edit your message in order to suit the requirements of Syracuse University's IRB and other project considerations.


StudyResponse standard recruiting message template:

Dear StudyResponse Project Participant:

We are requesting your assistance with a study conducted by a researcher at <XYZ> University on <very general description of your topic>. You must be at least 18 years of age to participate and you must <additional eligibility requirements>. The study will take you approximately <realistic time estimate for average adult respondent>. If you choose not to respond within the first week, we will send you a reminder in one week. Note that instructions on how to discontinue your participation in StudyResponse and stop receiving emails from us appear at the end of this message.

This study is anonymous, so please do not enter any identifying information into the research instrument except your StudyResponse ID, which is [ID]. The researcher has pledged to keep your data confidential and only to report aggregated results in any published scientific study.

In appreciation of your choice to participate in the project, we will enter you into a random drawing for several gift certificates to The researchers have provided StudyResponse with funding for X gift certificates to in the amount of $YY. <More details about prizes and eligibility.> The drawing will be conducted by StudyResponse on or about <date one week after last reminder). Note that your StudyResponse ID number is [ID] (also shown in the subject line of this message) and that you must enter that number into the survey to be eligible for the <incentive plan>. Follow this link to participate:


Participation in this study is voluntary and you may withdraw from participation at any time. If you have any questions you may contact the researcher:

<Researcher name>, Ph.D.
<Researcher University>
<Researcher Address>
<Researcher Phone Number>